Health care

Flu Shot Time

A public service announcement from Seattle Direct Counseling!

Protect those you care for. Get your flu vaccine and recommend it to your patients.

Yo! If you haven’t done so already, it is time to get your flu shot.

You: “But I don’t get the flu! Why should I get the shot or the nasal version?”

Me: Because herd immunity helps everyone around you, especially if there are some who cannot safely get the flu vaccine due to allergies to the components of the vaccine, or other chronic conditions.

You: “But I heard that you can get the flu if you take the vaccine!”

Me: The nasal version does have attenuated virus (weakened), but they are cold adapted. That means that if you were to show symptoms, it’s not the full on flu. The real flu is NASTY, and while most of us don’t want to talk about it, the flu can and does kill people.* That’s why the vaccine is a good idea every year at about two month’s prior to the time the flu is predicted to hit.

Typically, the flu season in the Seattle area hits in February, though one year it hit quite early and took everyone by surprise. Healthcare workers in hospitals are usually required to get their flu shots or nasal vaccine by October. I am personally timing mine for November, anticipating that the flu season will be in full-swing by January 2015.

Please consider getting your vaccine through your employer-based health care program, or by visiting your local drug store. Flu shots should cost about $20, and may be covered by your insurance.

Go get your flu shot. Thank you in advance!

*The CDC only posts estimates of the numbers of people who die from the seasonal flu. States are not required to report numbers, so the CDC has a mortality rate based on estimates.